A few years ago, I taught a lovely group of people from a local church about primary and formational gifts. What was great was seeing their eyes light up as they discovered the different ways God had equipped them to be pastors, evangelists, prophets, teachers, preachers, servers etc. During the debrief afterwards, only a couple said they knew their primary spiritual gift prior to attending – the vast majority had no idea what their unique spiritual gift was, which got me thinking….
Is it the case that there is not enough teaching on spiritual gifts within the church?
Now, although many churches extol the importance of spiritual gifts, few prioritise it in their teaching schedules. One reason for this I believe is a presumption by leaders that the flock will somehow discover their spiritual gifts for themselves. Aside from the reality that this is an unlikely outcome it also highlights the worrying reality of how not all church leaders are aware of the importance of exercising spiritual gifts – basic and supernatural.
There are many reasons why this happens. Sometimes, the minister may not understand the subject well enough themselves and avoids teaching about primary and supernatural gifts. Other times, the emphasis might solely focus on a reliance of ‘supernatural gifting’ (tongues, prophesy, interpretation, etc) at the expense of basic spiritual gifts.
All of which means, every christian has a responsibility to research and discover their spiritual gifts for themselves. When hungry, we don’t wait for someone to feed us. Likewise, we shouldn’t wait for a minister to do it for us. Indeed, it could be the minister’s primary gift s not as a teacher which means you may have to provide that particular sermon series. Okay, if you don’t know your primary spiritual gift and the others that accompany it, then take the free spiritual gift test now by clicking the link below. www.primarygift.co.uk
All the best!
There are many reasons why Christians may fail to discern their spiritual gifts within their churches. In the series starting today we will consider six reasons. The first of these being:
‘a pervading culture of volunteerism.’
It’s no surprise that many church leaders when faced with gaping holes in church minstry areas often resort to taking matters in their own hands. For some, this might result in a plea from the front of church seeking people to help with youth work. Or to assist with creche. Or to be part of a social action group or children’s ministry. Naturally, it makes perfect sense to ask people to help out where no one presently exists to run it. However, useful as volunteers are as a temporary fix to an ongoing problem, they are never the complete answer as that will always involves someone with a God-given passion for the ministry and the accompanying spiritual gift that will drive and sustain it in the long term.
What usually happens when servant-hearted people help out with a spiritual ministry outside of their own passion and calling is that they find themselves ill-equipped for what they have been asked to do. While there is nothing wrong with helping out in the short-term, problems occur when ‘temporary’ ends up replacing ‘long term.’
While volunteerism is always a short-term fix for churches, the wise minister audits his or her congregation to elicit each person’s passion and the primary spiritual gifts they possess – maybe as teacher? Or preacher? Or pastor? Or evangelist? etc. Only as leaders move to this type of forward planning will the need for volunteers be replaced by a congregation where each person knows their God-given passion and equipping that is ready-made for that particular vacant ministry within the church. Be blessed!
ps If you don’t know which one of the eleven spiritual gifts is your primary spiritual gift – that is, the one you should occupy a large percentage of your ministry time – why not take the test to find out. https://www.primarygift.co.uk/take-spiritual-gift-test/
ps You will need to be connected to printer to download materials and descriptors.
‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.’ (Matthew 9v37)
Okay, having dealt with the binary understanding of how a person either knows or doesn’t know their spiritual gift, we turn our attention to a fourth response people sometimes give as a reason for not deving deeper into investigating their spiritual gifts- that being:
‘I already know my spiritual gift’ (note: singular).
Now while it is true that God gives all believers one ‘stand out’ spiritual gift – often referred to as a ‘primary gift’ – which should be used most of the time, there is potential to possess a Continue reading The ‘how to’ on growing God’s kingdom?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5v7Having outlined in the last two posts why believers should be proactive in the pursuit and development of their spiritual gifts, a third reason that Christians sometimes use for avoiding this process is:
‘You either know or you don’t know!’
Behind this rather fatalistic maxim for life is the idea that every person’s understanding of spiritual matters is somehow set in stone and impossible to change. Indeed, the statement is ludicrous when taken considered in the context of education of others. Imagine saying to a mother concerned about her daughter’s behaviour at school, that she shouldn’t worry because she ‘either knows or she doesn’t.’ Such advice would be risible at best because as humans we are designed to learn, change and adapt. More than that, we expect the same of others.
As spiritual beings we have a responsibility to grow and learn. This means setting aside useless excuses and committing ourselves to the task of spiritual growth. Which for Christiand means doing everything within our power to understand how it is that we have been spiritually equipped and what we should be doing to serve God in this world. No mean feat but then, there’s is no higher calling.
If you don’t know your primary spiritual gift, why not take the test by clicking on this link . All the best,
ps you will also discover your formational gifts as well!
pps you will need a printer to print out the test.
…or put another way, have you ever done a spiritual gift test?
‘For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’ 2 Timothy 1v6-7
As a minister, I often meet mature christians who only have a vague idea of what their spiritual gifts are and how they should use them. Delving deeper as to why this is, the reasons I often hear are things like:
- I never really thought about it
- I don’t bother with that sort of thing
- You either know or you don’t
- we have all the spiritual gifts (which is kind of true but not much help)
- I just make the tea and coffee
- We don’t receive much teaching on that sort of thing in our church.
Today, I’ll consider the first of these: I never really thought about it. Actually, this is not as lame as it sounds because there is a dearth of teaching on the basic spiritual gifts in the majority of churches – by that I mean, many people attend on Sunday with little idea of the gifts that build up the church (Romans 12v6-8 etc) and how God has equipped them for the role they should be fulfilling within it.
Often, this may be because ministers themselves have little or no understanding about primary spiritual gifts and will opt for the safer option of teaching about supernatural gifts. Important as these are, they exist to compliment and enhance the backbone of the church which are gifts such as teacher, pastor, evangelist, server etc.
Now, if you do not know your primary gift, you should be making it a priority to find out what it is . Don’t wait for your minister to do a series or take you aside. It’s your responsibility! Be bold.
ps those who are interested can take the no cost primary gift test by clicking here on primary gift.